Islamic Religious Leadership Council Rules Against Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide

Stockholm, Sweden, Jul. 16 2003 - The Islamic European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) has ruled that "active" and "passive" euthanasia-- or mercy killing-- and suicide are all forbidden in Islam. Wrapping up its 11th session held in the Swedish capital Stockholm from July 1-6, the council said, "It is prohibited for a patient to kill him/herself or for others to kill him/her even if the patient himself allowed them to do so. The first case is nothing but suicide, while the second one is taking a life."

The council ruled that the removal of life-support machines for the clinically dead is permissible. "These machines help patients breathe and activate their blood cycle, but if they are already clinically dead and have lost all their senses due to brain damage, it makes no sense to keep these machines running, because they cost the hospital a lot of money and might be direly needed by other patients," the council said.

Source: Catholic World News Brief (16-July-2003) (

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